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Toronto Symphony Orchestra CEO Matthew Loden.Handout

Matthew Loden, chief executive officer of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 2018, has announced his resignation. Starting Oct. 1 he will be the dean of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, his hometown. Mr. Loden was a director of admissions at the school from 2002 to 2007.

Mr. Loden cited personal reasons for his departure, saying in a statement he wished to be closer to his family.

“It’s difficult to leave the Toronto arts community and the many colleagues at TSO, where it’s been an honour to work with such a creative group of musical leaders and volunteers.”

In his short time as leader of the internationally esteemed orchestra, Loden hired its new music director (the star Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno) and secured significant philanthropic investments, including $10-million from the Mary Beck estate, the largest individual gift to the orchestra.

The road to Ode (to Joy): Maestro Gustavo Gimeno’s plan to gradually ramp up the TSO postpandemic

According to the TSO, Mr. Loden retired a significant amount of its accumulated deficit.

He presided over the orchestra during the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the cancellation of the 2020-21 season and the loss of an estimated $11-million in ticket revenue. Because of additional funding and a reduction of expenses, however, its overall deficit was a reported $3,282,702.

In March, 2020, Mr. Loden wrote a piece for The Globe and Mail on the human cost caused by the arts sector temporarily forced to close its doors to the public because of COVID-19.

“Beyond the business of presenting, the arts are where we tell stories in languages and in ways that remind us we are all connected, all human,” Mr. Loden wrote. “We want to dance or sing or paint, or be the one who wins the day by sharing a surprise talent that wakes people up.”

Forecasting the reopening of the arts sector, Mr. Loden struck an optimistic and reassuring tone while discussing community. “There will still be an unerring impulse for us all to tell our stories,” he wrote, “to share again around the water cooler, to buy that ticket for a concert that will bring us back together. ... We’ll all look forward to finding our unity again as we watch the curtain rise and the oboe sounds the A.”

Last month, the TSO announced a 2021-22 season that will have Mr. Gimeno conducting 11 programs during his first complete season on the podium.

The season begins on Nov. 10 with Anthony Barfield’s Invictus, a piece for brass ensemble inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests. Guest conductors include Peter Oundjian, who was Mr. Gimeno’s immediate predecessor as music director. He returns to the orchestra’s home at Roy Thomson Hall in his first appearance as conductor emeritus.

The season’s finale will be a presentation of Ode to Joy, from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, in June, 2022.

Mr. Loden had succeeded Gary Hanson, who had served as interim CEO for two years. Mr. Loden came to the TSO from the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he had briefly served as interim co-president.

Asked by The Globe to name the favourite performances of his tenure, Mr. Loden mentioned a surprise free concert during a snowstorm in February, 2020, and personalized online performances during the pandemic for isolated seniors. “I was so proud of the musicians for the musical joy they brought to people all over our city when people needed it the most.”

The outgoing leader’s final day at the TSO will be at the orchestra’s online annual general meeting on Sept. 22. The orchestra’s board has formed a search committee to replace him.

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